Book of the Week: Bad Feminist – Roxane Gay

This astute, witty collection of essays has had a gathering trajectory. In recent weeks I’ve had more and more requests for reads.  And publicity is emailing pretty much every day with new coverage commitments. If you’re interested in issues of race, class and feminism you’ve probably bumped across Gay’s work. She’s been published in the NYT, WSJ, the LA Times, the Nation and Salon. Her tumblr has 100,000 followers. She’s sharp, she’s funny, and the word’s getting out.

This is cultural criticism that doesn’t look down its nose at popular culture. Gay is working from inside the trenches. She live tweeting episodes of The Bachelorette and her essays cover subjects  as diverse as The Girls, Django Unchained, Jerry Sandusky, The Hunger Games, Chris Brown, Kanye West, Robin Thicke, Twilight, and (how could she not) 50 Shades of Grey. For a hint at her voice, check out this dating FAQ that she posted on tumblr last August.

Bad Feminist is an Indie Next Pick, has great advance reviews, and so far on-sale coverage includes USA Today, O, the Oprah Magazine, Vanity Fair, NPR, MSNBC, NYTBR, Buzzfeed, Deadspin.Com, WSJ, Elle.Com, New York Observer, Time, Time Out New York, The Week, Marie Claire, Mother Jones, Harper’s Bazaar, Ms., Cosmopolitan, Paste and The Believer.

This trenchant collection assembles previously published essays and new work by cultural critic and novelist Gay (An Untamed State). Even though she loves pink, feels nostalgic about the Sweet Valley High series, and lets degrading rap lyrics blast from her car stereo, Gay is passionately committed to feminist issues, such as equal opportunity and pay and reproductive freedom. Writing about race, politics, gender, feminism, privilege, and popular media, she highlights how deeply misogyny is embedded in our culture….Whatever her topic, Gay’s provocative essays stand out for their bravery, wit, and emotional honesty.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“One of our sharpest new culture critics plants her flag in topics ranging from trigger warnings to Orange is the New Black in this timely collection of essays.”
O, the Oprah Magazine, 10 Titles to Pick Up Now

 “A strikingly fresh cultural critic.”
— Ron Charles, Washington Post

“Gay’s essays are consistently smart and provocative. . . . Her essay collection will give you dinner-party conversation through September.”
USA Today, Jennifer Weiner’s 10 Best Beach Reads

Bad Feminist collects the very good essays of ‘It girl’ culture critic Roxane Gay.” — Vanity Fair, Hot Type

“Let this be the year of Roxane Gay.”

“Smart readers cannot afford to miss these essays…”
Library Journal

Bad Feminist (9780062282712) by Roxanne Gay. $15.99 trade paper original. 

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